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Spoon's flash, wobble can be trusted

July 21, 2017
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Of all the many lures I carry and use inshore, one rod is always rigged with a spoon which this past week nabbed snook, trout, redfish, catfish, mackerel, and a 38-inch shark that turned out to be an inshore, too-curious-for-its-own-good cobia.

If you were given only one lure choice for deep water fishing it probably would be a jig, but when it comes to local inshore waters of less than three feet deep a spoon is considered Matlacha Magic.

For new anglers, the spoon is easy to cast, easy retrieve and a highly productive lure. Effective year-round, it casts far and can be fished extremely shallow. Fish it slowly or quickly as long as it's not retrieved so fast it causes the lure to spin unnaturally. Wobble and flash is the ticket. It can be a great lure to pitch cast/flip around gnarly cover promoting crushing reaction strikes from snook and redfish hiding under limbs and docks.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Always attach line to leader with a strong small swivel to help counter line twist which eventually turns into an instant eagle's nest costing time and money.

Saving money on braid is a good thing. I'm surprised how many anglers strip off 200 yards or more of line and discard it when the first 10 yards starts to show wear, then add another 200 yards of new line to the spool.

Instead of pitching it, pull it off and simply turn it around. New line.

When adding new braid ask yourself, for the kind of inshore fishing I do, do I really need 200 yards of braid on my spinning reel? When was the last snook, trout or redfish you hooked that took more than a hundred yards of line? Fifty yards? 20?

If your answer is the first or second choice I want to see film and witnesses ASAP.

Point is, spool up with cheaper mono then Uni-Knot a 100-yard piece of braid to it before the leader saving big on every line change.

Snook fishing along the surf zone remains hot as well as finding them stacked in the passes. Drifting through the passes while casting you may get lucky and see a huge, tightly grouped school of large snook passing beneath or to your side. For the snook angler this is quite a sight to behold.

For the traveling snook fan looking to get on the road for a change of scenery and trophy sized snook action, gas up and head east. Fish the inlets, docks and beaches along the Atlantic side for some consistent big fish action.

The largest concentrations of spawning snook you will ever see await you. Guides' fees split between a couple of buddies is money wisely spent. The info gained will pay off when you trailer your boat over on the next trip.

While my focus has been on night lure fishing for tarpon locally and to the north in the Peace River, the local redfish action has been heating up. After all we are only five weeks or so from September's fall redfish run.

This year those that want a local trophy redfish would do better to fish the passes instead of putting in time on the flats. After our local reds reach 30 inches or so they typically start to stay in deeper waters. The passes might pay off in a bigger fish.

Of course, nice reds are caught every year here on the flats. My logs and pictures show a 16.75-pound Matlacha red I caught on a gold spoon on 7/27/15 within sight of the Matlacha Bridge in super skinny water.

For consistent Florida bull redfish action Jacksonville is hard to beat. For the traveling angler, Venice, La., is the go-to big numbers/big fish destination while the Carolinas claim top honors producing the world record on hook and line of 94 pounds, 2 ounces.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-440-1621 or



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